Lebanon's Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah speaks during a news conference in this still image taken from Hezbollah television Al-Manar 23 January 2011. (Reuters)
Hezbollah's leader Hassan Nasrallah delivered a televised speech Tuesday after the opposition's candidate Najib Mikati was officially named prime minister of Lebanon.
Nasrallah's speech, broadcast by Hezbollah's Al-Manar TV station, addressed huge crowds of his supporters gathered in Ras Al-Ein Baalbek. The address was intended to commemorate the Arbaeen of Imam Hussein Tuesday, according to the channel's website.
The occasion of Al-Arbaeen marks the end of a 40-day mourning period following Al-Hussein's martyrdom and is commemorated in Shia tradition. It was the first main subject addressed by Nasrallah.
Regarding Lebanon's current situation, Nasrallah acknowledged it was a difficult time but called for responsible action. He also asserted that Hezbollah used constitutional and legitimate instruments to gain this victory, adding that many around the world intervened in this Lebanese matter.
An international media campaign was launched against the opposition claiming that they resorted to the streets and that they orchestrated a coup, he said.
“Why do you respect that majority and not this,” he said, referring to the March 14 majority held previously and the one just claimed by the opposition.
Nasrallah explicitly rejected claims saying that Najib Mikati is a “Hezbollah candidate” and added that he was neither part of the March 14 nor the March 8 alliances.
He maintained that Hezbollah never sought that in the past either. "We are neither asking for power nor government," he continued.
He described claims that Hezbollah wants to take over the government as "the biggest lie and fraud ever."
"We are a resistance movement," he declared explaining that they exist to protect Lebanon, its pride, the Arab world and to liberate the usurped lands and holy places of Christians and Muslims.
He stated that the "resistance," referring to Hezbollah, is the only force protecting Lebanon from Israeli aggression, not the government, and not the US.
“What protects Lebanon today is the Resistance, army, people formula through an Israeli-acknowledged balance of deterrence," Nasrallah asserted.
He went on to ask of any prospective government two things: not to stab the "resistance" in the back and that it takes care of its citizens and people in "deprived areas."
The old government, Nasrallah added, had five years and in that time did nothing for the people of impoverished or deprived areas.
He called for cooperation and dialogue. Nasrallah also noted that if his rivals boycott the government or refuse to participate, it would mean that they only sought the government for themselves.
He said it was Lebanon's only choice and exclaimed "If we didn’t do that and give this a chance for success, where do you want to take this?"
The west functions according to their interests and takes sides accordingly, he said.
"Let's not waste time," he told his rivals and asked them to give Mikati a chance.